Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away
Critic Score
Based on 34 reviews
2013 Ratings: #24 / 958
Year End Rank: #19
User Score
Based on 309 ratings
2013 Ratings: #50
February 18, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Suggest a Genre
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account. / Website
Your Review
Sign In to rate and review


The Skinny

Perhaps this work is better summed up in a more classic manner on the elegiac title track. ‘Some people say it’s just rock ‘n’ roll, ah but it gets you right down to your soul.’ Amen.

Time Out London
This is astoundingly powerful and singular storytelling, scored with devilish subtlety, unfolding with the grotesque modern detail and mythic scope of a Grayson Perry tapestry.
Entertainment Weekly

The peak of Cave’s 15th album with the Bad Seeds is a multidimensional walkabout through sonic shadows and fog called ”Higgs Boson Blues,” which features references to both Miley Cyrus and Robert Johnson.

The Line of Best Fit

Experimental yet built on superb songwriting, fresh and surprising but still somehow recognisably a Bad Seeds record, the amount of innovation and inspiration found on Push The Sky Away proves that Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds must still care an awful lot about this rock ‘n’ roll stuff.

Tiny Mix Tapes
Warren Ellis’ contributions past the violin are quite welcome here and the kind of delivery with which Cave matches the low-end, heavy sounds complement each other incredibly well. And when Cave does yell, when he enters briefly into that fire sermon outfit, it shows that he’s still capable, yet restraining for the sake of dynamic.
Consequence of Sound

Richly arranged, masterfully sequenced, and full of brooding, Push the Sky Away combines the stately beauty of The Boatman’s Call and No More Shall We Part with the intensity of Grinderman/Lazarus-era Cave while managing to sound like neither.


What Cave and co have managed here is no mean feat: a masterpiece that merges the experimentation and freedom of their side projects with Cave’s most tender songcraft.

American Songwriter

For an album so ballad-heavy, there’s a great sense of turmoil and menace bubbling up just underneath the surface.

Slant Magazine

Unlike most of his peers, Cave appears to show no sign of settling comfortably into the rock firmament, or, indeed, of compromising at all.


Straight to your heart and to your gut, Push The Sky Away hits like a gentle kiss: life, love, loss. It’s a masterwork by an artist whose horizon feels a long, long way off.


Potent in its masculine restraint, this record has surely always existed, just waiting to be plucked from the surf; a mercurial, magisterial, stick of seaside rock.

Loud and Quiet

They still sound as vital, charged, atmospheric and bursting with forward momentum as they did in 1983.


As by his own admission he’s more of a voyeuristic, narrative songwriter than an emotional miner: here, the music fills in the unwritten emotional content lurking behind his observations.


The album surprises continually, offering humor, crises and redemption within the sound of something as lovely and enticing as it is aggressive and challenging.


On the first couple of listens, it may all seem a bit underwhelming, a bit too sombre for its own good. Yet, slowly but surely, the magisterial atmosphere soon gets under the skin.


Where the Bad Seeds' mellow records usually find Cave in pensive, piano-man mode, Push the Sky Away presents an uncharacteristically weightless, eerily atmospheric sound

Under The Radar

While nearly unshakeable in its bleakness, Push the Sky Away is another exemplary effort from the Bad Seeds, and the moodiest entry into the Nick Cave canon in over a decade.


As always, just beyond Cave’s solemnity, there’s wicked and lovely fun to be had.

FACT Magazine

It might be their fifteenth album in a 30 -year career, but Push The Sky Away proves beyond all doubt – even mine – that the group is still at the top of their game.

No Ripcord

We know better than to call Push The Sky Away Nick Cave’s best album, but if you want a portrait of the artist, as an artist, the album qualifies as “essential” even by the strictest definition.

Beats Per Minute

Push the Sky Away is as wonderfully subdued as anything they’ve ever done, and there’s currently no group that can wring more value from their age and experience. 

The 405

Whilst this isn’t a record which will entice or honey-trap a new audience, it is a piece which has a genuine brand of intelligence and depth that you’ll struggle to find on many releases this year.


Tere are some wonderful moments, the single ('We No Who U R') and the title track are starkly magnificent, but the general feel is a bit of a comedown.

Drowned in Sound

Cave’s schtick these days is less demonic preacher, more old guy railing self-mockingly against the dying of the light; but he feels a way away from perfecting that shtick without Grinderman to hide behind. 


Push the Sky Away might be prettier overall than his other recent albums, but it has a lot of menace in it. 

Despite excellent songs, this album feels more like an extension of Cave and Ellis' cinematic work than a classic Bad Seeds record. The sonic sea change is deliberate; but historically, given their vastly musical nature, this more economical approach is jarring, though seductive.

At a time when arty escapism too often descends into cheap distraction, Push the Sky Away is a vital and refreshingly sinister soundtrack to the daily grind of downbeat Bad Seeds listeners.

A.V. Club

The disc might not need Mick Harvey to season it—but it needs someone, or something, to heat up what amounts to a package of Cave cold cuts.

WELL the news that we are getting a new album THIS FRIDAY has been rather exciting. Skeleton Tree is a top ten album of the decade for me and this one really is pretty good as well. I'm hopeful!
If you thought Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds couldnt develop their sound even further from where it already was, you would be the furthest thing from right.

Hauntingly beautiful throughout, Nick Cave's voice on this album is mixed with a multitude of styles and genres that blend with such quality, making it so difficult to place this album in any specific box. The massive sound that they are known for only gets bigger and more intricate on Push The Sky Away, with even more textured elements ... read more
Push the Sky Away's success of being such a strong late-career effort is all thanks to its restraint - something that when done right can present the mark of a great artist. And with Nick Cave being a rock musician who's mostly well-known to turn up the loudness quite a bit with multiple past Bad Seeds records and the more devilish, side project Grinderman, it really makes the overall beauty achieved on this record much more astonishing. The overly sparse direction of the instrumentation surely ... read more
If this album is this good, for me, I'm in for a hell of a time with the rest of their discography!
This album continues to showcase why Nick Cave has one of the most consistent and brilliant discographies in the music industry. His lyricism is so evocative, and the simplicity in which they're communicated to you is so admirable. That said, there are moments across the album where I feel my attention slipping. But the highs on here are high points not just here, but across their discography in general.

Favs: Higgs Boson Blues, Water’s Edge, Jubilee Street, Mermaids
Least Fav: ... read more
Purchasing Push the Sky Away from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?

Track List

  1. We No Who U R
  2. Wide Lovely Eyes
  3. Water's Edge
  4. Jubilee Street
  5. Mermaids
  6. We Real Cool
  7. Finishing Jubilee Street
  8. Higgs Boson Blues
  9. Push The Sky Away
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.
In Library (36)

Added on: November 27, 2012